The Mitchells & Butlers-owned site in Horley, Surrey, suffered severe fire damage when a modern extension to the building went up in flames.
While the original ancient part of the building was left almost untouched, the roof of the modern extension is derelict and will need to be completely rebuilt.
It is believed the fire started in the pub’s kitchen, which spread to the roof and gutted much of the extension and, unfortunately, left a family living in the building homeless.
Some 50 customers were in the pub when the fire broke out and were all evacuated unharmed.
Community came to the aid
The local community and nearby pubs came to the aid of the family whose home was in the extension, raising almost £2,000 and donating possessions to help them get back on their feet.
The Ye Olde Six Bells on Church Road is reputed to be the second oldest pub in the UK and is a focal point within the community, as well as a dining destination for surrounding customers.
A spokesperson for Ye Olde Six Bells told The Morning Advertiser: “The fire had very little impact on the oldest parts of the building.
“There will be a significant rebuild required to the area affected by the fire, during which we will look to carry out a full refurbishment of the pub, while still retaining its traditional, authentic feel and appeal.
“We hope to be able to reopen the pub in the autumn.”
The spokesperson added: “We’d like to say thank you for the incredible support shown by the local community and we hope to welcome you back to the Ye Olde Six Bells once the required works are complete.”
Four fires engines and an area ladder platform along with 22 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze, which is believed to have started at around 7.30pm on 28 May.
At the time, customers and staff didn’t believe the fire was serious and took their food and drink into the pub garden.
However, the pub was soon evacuated and the area cordoned off, as the fire brigade worked until the early hours of the morning.
Roxie Wood, a patron visiting the pub at the time of the fire, said on Facebook: “I don’t think anyone who got evacuated thought that was going to happen, people took their drinks and dinner plates – I guess presuming to be back inside [shortly].”